Welcome to Upper School - July 2019

  • Upper School
Karen Wright, Ph.D., Upper School Division Head

Summer Greetings from the Upper School!

On behalf of the Upper School leadership team, welcome! Our campus is buzzing with behind-the-scenes projects and preparations as we get ready for our 2019 – 2020 students. Because you are new to the Upper School, we wanted to reach out to you early to ensure you are aware of our upcoming events and other items that will help your transition.

But first, I want to introduce you to a few Upper School leadership team members. My name is Dr. Karen Wright, and I’m the Upper School Division Head. My go-to partner for all things student life-related is Rev. Dr. Jeff Gephart. He and I work closely together to help plan and support academic and student programming in the Upper School. You will often see us visiting with students and faculty in the hallways, speaking at special events, academic assemblies and chapels, or hanging out in the Nagel Commons during lunchtime. We love our jobs! Two other important people in the life of our community are our Associated Student Body (ASB) officers. Senior Lili Kim is our Student Council president, and junior Morten Hansen is our vice president. They are both passionate about Bear Creek and are here to help ensure their fellow students have the best possible experience at our school.

We each have a drive to assist our students in becoming invested in all Bear Creek has to offer, and we are fully committed to helping each one become the individual God intends. We are thrilled to partner with you as you join our Upper School community!

Upper School Leadership Team 2019-2020

Upper School leadership team, pictured from left to right, Morten, Lili, Dr. Wright, and Dr. Gephart

We will introduce you to the rest of our incredible team at the beginning of the year events—they can’t wait to meet you! Please read below for summer tips and information about upcoming events. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Freshman and New Student Orientation All freshmen and new transfer students should plan to join us for Upper School Orientation on Monday, August 26 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. We will introduce you to the rest of the leadership team, review the Upper School daily schedule, and hear from some key student leaders. Additionally, students will receive their fall semester schedules and get a tour of the school in order to get the ‘lay of the land,’ find their classrooms, and meet their teachers. This event is an excellent opportunity for each of our freshmen and other new students to settle into the Upper School prior to the first day of class. Lunch will be provided.

At the same time as students’ orientation, parents are invited to attend orientation at 10:30 a.m. in the Andrea Lairson Library. At this session, we will review some of the material covered at the Upper School Parent Welcome event last May as well as meet members of the Upper School leadership team.

After lunch, students and their parents are invited to attend an optional technology demonstration in the Wesley Choir Room from Math Department Chair Mrs. Linda Graham and Dean of College and Academic Advising Mrs. Colleen Murray. This presentation will be a tour of our online resources, including calendar, website, information system, and academic and college advising portals.

If the Upper School parking lot is full, please park at the Main building and follow the footpath to the Upper School.

First Day of School The first day of school for all Upper School students begins at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 28. This is a wonderful day filled with fellowship and celebration, and parents are welcome to attend the morning events in the Performing Arts Center. Convocation starts at 8:10 a.m. followed by the House Induction Ceremony. Students should wear casual uniform on the first day of school.

Beginning on September 4, school starts at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays to accommodate professional development time for our faculty. Please review our weekly schedule.

Icebreaker A special tradition in the Upper School is Icebreaker, our overnight trip to Island Lake Camp! All students and faculty attend this event, and it is a time of great fellowship and bonding. Students participate in outdoor events, small group activities and fun House competitions to help foster unity and friendships. Icebreaker will be on Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30. Waivers and itinerary are included with Back-to-School Registration which parents will receive in mid-July (due August 8), plus you’ll get more details in my August Update as well as on the first day of school.

Summer Assignments Please visit the Summer Assignments page for English class assignments and suggested math class review. Summer reading questions should be directed to English Department Chair Mr. Kenny Norris at knorris@tbcs.org. Questions regarding math should be directed to the Math Department Chair Mrs. Linda Graham at lgraham@tbcs.org.

Community Service—Students Can Get Started Now! Students engaged in community service this summer may count it toward the 100-hour graduation requirement. So, students working for a camp, a non-profit, or even Vacation Bible School at church, should keep track of hours worked and make a note of the name and email address of the person supervising the service. Students will get access to our community service portal called x2VOL (pronounced “ex-two-vol”) in early August, when they will set up their accounts and enter service hours.

School Uniforms We believe uniforms help promote a mindset of school being a place of academic focus with special expectations and help develop school pride. In addition, uniforms avoid the need for a dress code, eliminate "dress competition," and present financial savings. Dress or casual uniforms are worn every school day unless otherwise designated for special events.

Upper School students wear dress uniforms on Mondays and Tuesdays. Casual uniforms are worn on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. All dress uniform sweaters, vests, and skirts must be purchased through DENNIS Uniform. School pants may be purchased through three different vendors, Tommy Hilfiger, Lands' End, or DENNIS Uniform. See the School Uniforms page for guidelines and ordering information. Don't miss the opportunity to order a House sweatshirt between July 1 and August 8 (it's at the very bottom of the School Uniform page!).

New and used uniform sales will be held on campus in the Upper School on Wednesday, August 7.

Back-to-School Registration Due August 8 In mid-July, parents of new students will receive access to the Parent Portal using your Bear Creek credentials, and we will send all parents an email with detailed instructions for completing Back-to-School Registration which entails reviewing and updating your Household Profile; completing the Back-to-School Registration policy form; and printing, signing, and submitting a few paper forms. Most of our school waivers are signed online as part of the registration policy form (including Upper School Icebreaker). Included with Back-to-School Registration, you will find information about school health and immunization requirements, field trips, publicity, and computer and internet use.

Note regarding email addresses: Parents should review their Profiles in July when the Back-to-School Registration email is received. Please ensure your child (grades 5-12) has a unique email address listed in your Profile; it may not be the same as another family member's email address. Additionally, each parent should also have a unique email address. Only parents may edit the Household Profile (not students); please ensure changes to your family's contact information are reflected in a timely fashion on your Household Profile.

Academic and College Advising Dean of Academic Advising Mrs. Emily Schuldt supports students in grades 9 and 10 with all of their academic needs. Dean of College and Academic Advising Mrs. Colleen Murray supports students in grades 11 and 12. New students and parents will receive access to and instruction about Naviance Student at orientation. Naviance is available to all Upper School students and their parents and provides a wealth of resources related to college advising. Until then, check out the Academic and College Advising Calendar for a look at events and resources available to Upper School students and families.

Sports and Academic Teams Upper School fall sports include boys and girls cross country, boys golf, girls soccer, boys tennis, and girls volleyball. Register online by August 8 (new families may register after they receive the Back-to-School Registration email). Practices begin on Monday, August 26. Student athletes must attend 10 practices before they may participate in a game. Don’t forget that a sports physical is required to participate. Instructions for registering for Bear Creek’s forensics (speech and debate) and math teams will be available in August. Stay tuned. Go Grizzlies!

Wow! That’s a lot of information, but we are here if you have any questions. Also, check out the "Parent Orientation" tab on the MyBC/Parents page on the school website. No password is required, and you will find all the links I've referenced in this email. We look forward to seeing you here at these upcoming events, and we are praying for each of your families as you transition to our Upper School community. If you have any questions, please contact me or Upper School Division Assistant Debbie Stump at dstump@tbcs.org.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead… 1 Peter 1:6

All’s joy,

Karen Wright, Ph.D.
kwright@tbcs.org